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Old November 21, 2011, 01:21 PM   #1
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Confederate - Taiping Alliance??? Discussion

I am just starting to read "Bright Starry Banner" by Alden R. Carter, and it is one hell of a novel about the Stones River Campaign in December, 1862. Hits you like a Keystone Ice laced with generous amounts of vodka.

The War of Northern Aggression started in 1861, which is the same year Emperor Hong Xiuquan of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom launched his massive attack on Shanghai in an attempt to capture the city and open a port.

Unlike the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Hong Xiuquan was among the first in the world to recognize Southern independance. His capture of Shanghai would allow the Heavenly Empire to open trade and possible alliance with the Confederacy.

NOW: The Taiping attack on Shanghai only reached the suburbs of Shanghai, at Zhijiawei and Mei Long, before they were turned back by a combined force of Qing and western troops, but what if he had succeeded in capturing the port city?

How would the Confederacy benefit militarily from an alliance with the Taiping?
The Taipings were masters of artillery, and never entered an engagement without at least a full brigade of cannon.
Taiping troops were also the masters of night manuevers. Human wave tactics under the cover of night with every man firing on the run, no battle lines.
The Taiping also mastered incendiary warfare, the use of napalm rockets, primitive flamethrowers, and catapults filled with jellied petrol that turned opposing fortifications and battle lines into flaming masses of terror and destruction. The Taiping navy used batteries of rockets that are filled with incendiary material at sea, which easily turned enemy ships into bonfires.

How would the Confederacy have fared if Emperor Hong Xiuquan turned his attention to aiding them, militarily and politically? Assuming that trade between Shanghai and the Confederate ports are opened.
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Old November 21, 2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Taking just a quick stab at it, I don't think that the CSA would have benefited at all. Given the state of transportation and communications, China might as well have been on Mars.
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